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Celebrity Families

Deborra-Lee Furness shares a rare and touching insight into parenting her two kids with husband Hugh Jackman

''They will shine a light on every one of your flaws.''

By Maddison Hockey
Deborra-Lee Furness and husband Hugh Jackman have long been advocates for adoption.
Starting the charity, Adopt Change in 2008, the actress and director often speaks about the need, nay right, that every child should have to a safe and nurturing home.
But, what we often don't hear about from the 64-year-old is her own children, 20-year-old Oscar and 15-year-old Ava, whom she adopted with Hugh.
Hugh and Deborra-Lee with daughter Ava and son Oscar. (Getty)
In a rare interview with People, Deborra has spoken about parenting their two kids and the family's diversity.
"It's so interesting being a parent, and they've both made me smarter than I think I ever could have been on my own," Deborra revealed.
"But when you're a parent, you can't lie to them or yourself. They will shine a light on every one of your flaws, your Achilles heel, whatever. You've got to look at yourself."
With Oscar's Bosnian heritage and Ava's Mexican lineage, Deborra has taken a special interest in "epigenetics" - the study of how your behaviours and environment can cause changes that affect the way your genes work.
"What I'm very interested in is epigenetics, and it's even more so when you have adopted children because I'm coming from my lineage of my mother, how she parented me, how her mother parented her, and I'm translating that to my children."
"But my children also have a separate lineage. So it's almost like we have more players at the table."
The kids are all grown up and their parents couldn't be prouder. (Instagram)
The mother-of-two has made a conscious effort to open both Oscar and Ava up to their cultural traits.
"When my son was younger, he found out he was part Bosnian, so we went and got this Croatian/Bosnian cookbook and he was very proud to carry that around when he was 7 years old."
"My daughter has a Mexican lineage, so we've been to Mexico."
She then added: "We completely embrace the ancestors and the extended family; they're family to us. And it's in there, even though it's generational. It may be subtle, but it's in there."

In a recent interview with the Herald Sun Hugh spoke of his unwavering love for the children he considers his own.
"I don't think of them as adopted – they're our children. We feel things happened the way they are meant to. Obviously, biologically wasn't the way we were meant to have children."
"Now, as we go through life together, sure there are challenges, but everyone's in the right place with the right people. It sounds airy-fairy, but it's something we feel very deeply."

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